This makes me so sad. Maybe I missed this, but I wondered why no one reported him missing during the day if he wasn't in class? From what I recall, the step mom saw him headed to his class but no alarm was raised until after school? Himself is only 3 but he knows that only Mom, Dad and the grandmas will pick him up from school. My husband's BFF and wife are the "extreme emergency" people and Himself knows that too. We've worked on memorizing his dad's cell phone number so that if he gets lost he can tell the police his full name, the street he lives on and how to contact his dad who ALWAYS has his cell phone. I haven't yet worried about strangers too much because other than preschool he is never out without an adult. But we'll get there soon, I know.
I really hope they find this little guy. Sending you, your family and the community big internet hugs.
This is heartbreaking. Our school has all kinds of safety measures in place, too, but things still slip through the cracks. The Boy (age 5 at the time) cut his gym class one day and joined another class for recess on the playground instead. No one noticed he was missing from gym class and the recess teacher (who was a sub) didn't notice there was a kid who wasn't supposed to be there. I only found out about it because The Boy happily told me all about it when I picked him up at school -- at which point, I marched him back to his classroom (marched!) and had him tell his teacher what he'd done. She took it very seriously, he hasn't pulled anything like that since, but still...why was it so easy for a 5-year-old to disappear at school?
I do talk to him periodically about this stuff, as it comes up. I think we may be due for another talk soon, especially in light of this situation in Portland. One thing I haven't mentioned yet, which I should, is that the local low-lifes who sometimes turn up at neighborhood playgrounds have been known to try to lure the kids with Pokemon cards. (Which pisses me off to no end...)
I think for me the harder thing was explaining why a stranger would "steal" a child. Find age appropriate way for that discussion, let me know.
This is a little off topic, but it's not always a stranger. A boy at our local high school was recently charged with raping a fellow student in a school bathroom. Turns out the kid was already a registered sex offender. You can read the whole f'd up story here.